Now that there are deals everywhere, you probably want to get a start on your holiday shopping. If you’re shopping for children, be mindful of eye safety when choosing the right toy.
In 2014, U.S. emergency rooms treated 251,800 toy-related injuries, with head or face injuries making up 44 percent of cases. These injuries were commonly caused by basketballs, baseballs, and air guns.
Hugh Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, said in a news release, “When giving the gift of sports equipment, Prevent Blindness strongly urges also providing sports eye protection. An eyecare professional can provide guidance for the best protection for each sport and athlete.”
Here are some safety measures from Prevent Blindness to keep in mind when choosing children’s toys:
- Don’t buy toys that shoot or include parts that fly off, or toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or edges.
- Choose toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous pieces.
- Be sure toys are suitable for a child’s ability and age.
- Don’t give toys with small parts to young children, because they tend to put things in their mouths.
- Avoid toys with long strings or cords, especially for babies and very young children.
- Dispose of uninflated or broken balloons immediately.
- Read all warnings and instructions on the package.
- Always supervise children and show them how to use their toys safely.
- Look for the letters “ASTM.” This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Toys should be fun, not a threat. Keeping these blindness prevention tips in mind when choosing the perfect toy gift can ensure the safety of your children.